Protect’s unique 360° Benchmark – designed to help organisations with best practice whistleblowing arrangements – officially launched at event ‘Whistleblowing in the Modern Workplace’ held at law firm Howard Kennedy.
Developed with a financial working group, the 360° Benchmark works by identifying gaps and providing organisations with an action plan on how to improve.
Protect Chief Executive Francesca West said, “With our 25 years’ expertise we have found numbers alone are not an effective measure of arrangements. The 360° Benchmark is unique. It focuses instead on how your arrangements are structured, how you engage with staff and how whistleblowing works in practice in your organisation.”
Protect research shows 54% of employees said they do not train designated key members of staff (such as compliance or whistleblowing contacts) to receive concerns.
Around 50 delegates from varied sectors attended the launch, which included an overview of the Benchmark and panel debate led by Jane Amphlett, Head of Employment Team at Howard Kennedy. Delegates heard contributions from panel members Georgina Charlton, Deputy Freedom to Speak up Guardian at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, compliance consultant Laura Davies who helped develop the Protect 360° Benchmark, and Simon Rhodes, Head of HR for Kinapse Ltd.
It was an interesting debate and points raised included the cultural differences HR has to manage when working with global teams, the confusion over grievances and whistleblowing, and how the independent role and remit of the Freedom to Speak up Guardian.
Simon Bleckly, Audit and Counter Fraud Manager, Corporate Services, Warrington Borough Council, who piloted the Benchmark, said, “The 360 Benchmark enabled us to identify where we need to improve, and identify the key actions that we need to carry out in order to improve, but also to obtain assurance in those areas where we are performing well. The ability to compare ourselves with other local authorities is very useful – this is the first time that we have been able to do this.”